Kentucky breast feeding mom asked to leave Johnny Rocket's restaurant

9:39 AM, Jul 19, 2010   |    comments
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NBC -- A Kentucky mother is taking aim at a Newport eatery after a run-in over breast-feeding.

Corday Piston said her family came to Newport to visit the Newport Aquarium and afterward, they ate at the Johnny Rockets restaurant.

She said she went outside to nurse her 6-month-old daughter on the patio after asking servers if it was OK to breast-feed at an empty table.

Piston claims the manager came out shortly after that and told her she would have to breast-feed at a public bench, not at the restaurant.

Piston said it was too hot that day to sit on the bench and she explained to the manager that according to state law, she had the right to breast-feed wherever she had a right to be.

She said the manager informed her she could breast-feed in the bathroom.

Piston said she thought that option was disgusting.

At that point, Piston said the manager said asked her to leave because Piston was making people uncomfortable.

Piston said that she went back later with a copy of the statute
but was rebuffed.

She said the incident spurred her to organize other breast-feeding mothers to protest the restaurant chain at locations across the country.

Piston held the local protest at Newport on the Levee on Sunday morning.

The protesters sported signs saying slogans such as "Johnny Rockets is not a family restaurant" and "No, I will not feed my baby in your bathroom."

"I'm here to support Corday and, I mean, you feed your baby when you're hungry. I mean, it's stupid to think about eating in a bathroom," protester Nicole Stanforth said.

Piston said she was covered at the time and no other patrons were near her.

"I just want people to know there is a law, and whether or not they personally feel comfortable with breast-feeding in public, or whether they bottle-feed or breast-feed or however they choose to raise their families, there is a law that protects mothers' rights to nurse in public," Piston said.

Kentucky state law 29A.100 "directs judges at all levels of the court to excuse women who are breast-feeding or expressing breast milk from jury service until the child is no longer nursing."

It was followed up by state law 211-755 that "permits a mother to breast-feed her baby or express breast milk in any public or private location. Requires that breast-feeding may not be considered an act of public indecency, indecent exposure, sexual conduct, lewd touching or obscenity. Prohibits a municipality from enacting an ordinance that prohibits or restricts breast-feeding in a public or private place."

Both Indiana and Ohio have similar laws protecting the rights of women to breast-feed in public and private locations.

The owner of the restaurant refused to comment.


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